Excel – Formulas and Functions



  1. Use Formulas in EXCEL
  2. Use Copy and Paste
  3. Use Functions in EXCEL
  4. Format numeric data

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Using Formulas in your worksheetYour sheet will look like the one illustrated below when you complete this activity.imageTo enter a formula you need to know the calculation needed and the cells to be used in the calculation. In this example, we will calculate the average of the January temperatures in Alaska and Michigan. We will use Alaska’s January temperature (located in cell B3) and Michigan’s January temperature (located in cell B4) and place the result in cell B5.Click in cell B5 or whatever cell is below the January temperature for Michigan in your sheet.Type the formula =(b3+b4)/2Note: The equal sign () is critical.
Without it, Excel does not know that you want to perform a calculation.
All formulas and functions must be preceded with an equal sign (=).Press Enter|ReturnNote: The result -4 is returned.Change Alaska’s January temperature to -6Press Enter|ReturnNote: The result is returned.You did not need to re-enter the formula or recalculate the result. Excel did that for you.Top of PageUsing Copy and PasteYou need to enter the same formula for February, March, April, . . . December. That can be very time consuming.Instead of re-entering the formula, we will copy and paste.Click in cell C5 or whatever cell contains the January average.Choose Edit | Copy
Click on the Copy button.  Click in cell C5 or whatever cell contains the February average.Choose Edit | Paste
Click on the Paste button.  imageNote: The result 20 is returned.
You did not need to re-enter the formula or recalculate the result.
When Excel copied the formula for you it determined that this time you wanted to calculate data in column C.-or-Click in cell C5 or whatever cell contains the January average.Drag the botoom, right corner of cell C5 through Cell M5.
Excel will automatically recalculate the values for February, March, etc. Using Copy and Paste – (More)You still need to copy the formula to March, April, . . . December.
Even with copy and paste that could be very time consuming.
We will copy from one cell and paste to many cells.Click in cell B5 or whatever cell contains the January average.Choose Edit | Copy-or-Click on the Copy button.In row 5, select cells D1 through M1.(All the cells in the “average” row with no formula.)Choose Edit | Paste-or-Click on the Paste button.Note: The formula was entered in all selected cells.You did not need to re-enter the formula or recalculate the result.Top of PageUsing FunctionsMany times you use a spreadsheet to handle large quantities of data. If you had to calculate the average annual temperature in Alaska, you could enter the formula=(B3+C3+D3+E3+F3+G3+H3+I3+J3+K3+L3+M3)/12However, this would be a lot of typing.Instead, you could use a function. Excel has hundreds of functions available for you to use. The function we need is the AVERAGE function.Using the AVERAGE function, you indicate the starting cell and ending cell addresses, but not all the addresses in between.Click in cell N3 or whatever cell is to the right of the December temperature for Alaska in your sheet.Type the formula =AVERAGE(B3.M3)-or-Type the formula =AVERAGE(B3:M3)-or-Type the formula =AVERAGE(B3..M3)Note: The equal sign () is critical.Also, the period (.) or colon (:) or double dots (..) each tell Excel to average the RANGE of numbers between B3 and M3.The function =AVERAGE(B3,M3) with the comma separating the two cell addresses would tell Excel to average January’s temperature and December’s temperature and ignore February, March, etc.Press Enter|ReturnNote: The result 30.75 is returned.Calculate the average for Michigan by entering the function or by copying and pasting.Functions Available with ExcelTo see a complete list of the worksheet functions available with Excel,Choose Help | Contents and IndexSelect Index TabType FunctionsTop of PageFormatting Numeric DataNote that some averages are whole numbers and some are decimal fractions. We would like all the numbers to appear as whole numbers on our sheet.In row 5, select cells B5 through M5.
(All the cells containing averages in row 5.)Choose Format | CellsSelect the Number Tab. (Shown below.)
imageChoose Category NumberSelect zero (0) for Decimal places.Click on comma “,” separator check box, if you choose.Select a display format for negative number.Click OKNote: All numbers are rounded to whole numbers on the display.